Sandra Ortega

2022 Corn Mother Honoree


San Luis, Colorado’s oldest town, was established in 1851, 101 years before I was born, on a sunny and beautiful July 3rd. I am a 10th-generation native of San Luis. I’m the daughter of Daisy Vigil Ortega, from San Luis (daughter of Theresa Garcia and Moises de La Luz Vigil) and Praxedes Arthur Ortega (son of Onofre Vigil and Delfino Ortega), who was born in San Francisco, Colorado (also called El Rito and “La Valley”).
I had seven siblings. My parents taught us the importance of doing our best at everything we chose to try. Because of this, my 55 years of work experience have been diverse and full of life lessons. My first and favorite job was waitressing, which I did off and on, even while doing other jobs. I also spent time in social work, teaching, research, and office administration before joining my husband Antonio Garcia in running a passive solar and adobe construction company. We built and remodeled homes and businesses all over the San Luis Valley, with our faith in and our commitment to sustainability as our cornerstones. Our crown jewel was the construction of La Capilla de Todos los Santos (All Saints’ Chapel) in my hometown.
Now I serve as a volunteer, dividing my time, talent, and obligations between our local hospital, Adams State University’s Alumni Association, the Alamosa City Planning Commission, the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and as a victim’s advocate for the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Sandra 'S


“La vida es un regalo no renovable … ¡valóralo!”

“Life is a non-renewable gift … cherish it!”

Sandra is on pages 75-78

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